Letting agent Allen Martin has picked up the 10,000th loan from the government’s Start-Up Loans scheme to launch his new business.
Martin borrowed £10,000 as the scheme reached a landmark third of the way towards a target of helping 30,000 entrepreneurs.
So far, new businesses have borrowed £50 million – and the government has another £100 million waiting for successful applicants.
Royal Navy veteran Martin has opened Eclipse Property Cornwall with his loan.
Prime Minister, David Cameron said: “These loans are helping entrepreneurs nationwide achieve their dreams and offer jobs.
Symbol of hope
“Many would have not had the opportunity to raise the cash even though they have robust business plans because other avenues of funding have dried up or slowed to a trickle.
“New businesses are important to the economy as a symbol of hope and source of new jobs. Start Up Loans are making a difference and part of my plan for expanding Britain’s economy.”
The Start-Up Loans scheme also offers ongoing business support and mentoring to entrepreneurs to try to help them make a success of their venture.
“This money is so important to me and my business. Without it I could not have accomplished my ambition of running my own business and that’s an amazing feeling,” said Martin.
He served as a Royal Navy engineer and mechanic with helicopters, search and rescue and commando forces.
Martin is also one of the first to benefit from the government lifting an age cap on the scheme, which was previously limited to 18 to 30 years olds.
Dragon’s Den help
Former BBC TV Dragon’s Den entrepreneur James Caan is instrumental in promoting the Start-Up Loans scheme with the government.
Caan said: “Reaching this landmark is a real achievement for the scheme. Only 18 months ago, this was an idea people were talking about and now 10,000 businesses have benefitted from the scheme.
“This is something the country needs to support fledgling businesses to make more jobs and improve the economy.
“A lot of work still needs to be done and we need entrepreneurs to come forward with their business ideas so we can help them turn them into reality.”
The Chancellor George Osborne also recently announced that another start-up finance option, the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) has helped another 1,100 new businesses with equity funding by offering generous tax incentives.
Investors can take advantage of income and capital gains tax reliefs to reduce the risks of taking a stake in a new company.